REVIEW: ‘Spy x Family,’ Episode 20 – “Investigate the General Hospital/Decipher the Perplexing Code”

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Spy x Family Episode 20 - But Why Tho

Spy x Family is an action/comedy shonen anime produced by WIT Studio and CloverWorks. After last week’s unorthodox school story, this week’s look into Anya’s school life sees her going on a classic staple of elementary schooling, the go-to-work-with-your-parent day in Spy x Family Episode 20.

The standard school life exercise of accompanying a parent to work becomes a bit more complicated when you have parents like Anya’s. Initially approaching Yor about the possibility of following her, the viewer is pulled into an internal monologue of Yor’s as she considers taking Anya on one of her assassination assignments. While this sequence is funny, Anya is even garbed in her own version of Yor’s work outfit, it also does some important expanding on Yor and her approach to her work.

In past episodes, it had been hinted that Yor follows a code that dictates who she will or won’t kill. In Spy x Family Episode 20 the show spells out that only villains are targeted by her. While murdering people in cold blood is never good, these clarifications put Yor in a good enough light so there can be little to no conflict when it comes to liking the character.

Terrified by the possibility of seeing someone murdered, Anya opts to instead visit the hospital where Loid works in his cover as a psychiatrist. As she is investigating his work, her teacher’s words, Anya dawns a classic Sherlock Holmes-style outfit for the occasion. It might just be the most adorable she has been yet.

While exploring the hospital, Anya gets into the sort of mischief the young protagonist has become known for. There are plenty of chuckles and charm throughout her misadventures, including a new facial expression that I’m sure will be joining the ranks of Anya’s most beloved looks.

Spy x Family Episode 20‘s secondary story features Anya attempting to imitate the events of her favorite tv series Spy Wars by crafting her own secret code. With Yor’s help, she is able to make her code and proceeds to give out copies of the code, curious to see who might crack it.

Much like the episode’s main story, this tale is sweet and is home to a solid chuckle or two. However, as I continue to watch this series it feels like it is continually flagging in the narrative department. Perhaps Operation Strix is supposed to be simply an excuse to get the family together, but the presence of this larger narrative concept makes it feel like the show should be working towards this plot point more frequently. The animation throughout this episode delivers all the characters and humor of its pair of stories perfectly. The animation team has the visual language of the show down to a science at this point, even as they continue to expand and grow key visual elements like Anya’s ever-growing suite of hilarious facial expressions.

Spy x Family Episode 20 delivers more humor and charm as Anya takes the lead on a pair of entertaining stories, even if they feel like they do little with the larger plot. While each episode continues to charm, I hope the story can start pushing forward before Spy x Family starts losing its charm to simply being “more of the same”.

Spy x Family Episode 20 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Spy x Family Episode 20 delivers more humor and charm as Anya takes the lead on a pair of entertaining stories, even if they feel like they do little with the larger plot. While each episode continues to charm, I hope the story can start pushing forward before Spy x Family starts losing its charm to simply being “more of the same”.

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